green and sustainable business

Archive for October 2010

PNW Trifecta: Shore power at Tacoma, FAA grant for Sea-Tac, EPA award for Portland

with one comment

It was a very good week indeed for green and Pacific Northwest—the PNW’s first cargo ship plugged into shore power at the Port of Tacoma, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport received an $18 million environmental grant and the Port of Portland received a 2010 Green Power Leadership Award from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Here’s the run-down:

– State, federal and Port of Tacoma and Totem Ocean Trailer Express officials flipped the switch on October 27 on the Pacific Northwest’s first cargo ship to run on dockside shore power.

Helped by an EPA grant worth nearly $1.5 million, two TOTE cargo ships will now plug into electrical power and shut down diesel engines while docked during weekly calls at their Tacoma terminal. Also known as cold ironing, it’s a great way to reduce air-polluting diesel emissions, but has been slow to catch on. Passenger vessels at the Port of Seattle have had the shore power option for several years.

Tacoma port officials said the $2.7 million shore power project will reduce diesel and greenhouse gas emissions by up to 90 percent during TOTE’s 100 ship calls each year in Tacoma. That equals about 1.9 tons of diesel particulates and 1,360 tons of greenhouse gas emissions each year.

TOTE, a private shipping company that serves the Alaska trade, contributed about $1.2 million to retrofit the two ships to accommodate shore power connections and add some of the terminal infrastructure. The port provided environmental permitting, grant administration and project management.

The EPA grant was provided under the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act
(ARRA) of 2009 National Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program. Read the rest of this entry »


Plug a Leaf into history

leave a comment »

All- or mostly-electric vehicles are coming soon to a charging station or electric outlet near you.

Not only is the gas-free option arriving, there are some interesting and attractive choices hitting the road.

My favorite (for what that’s worth) is the all-electric Nissan Leaf, which will make its market debut this year as will the Chevy Volt. Meanwhile, the Ford Focus EV is slated to roll late next year and BMW reportedly is working on a small electric car that might launch in 2012.

“It seems that the era of the electric vehicle is finally upon us,” Esurance said in a recent blog post on the “Top 5.1 Things You Don’t Know About the Electric Car (But Should).” Read the rest of this entry »

Written by William DiBenedetto

21 October, 2010 at 2:00 am

The July wave: Ocean policy in DC and the Plastiki in Sydney

leave a comment »

Here’s a long one for Blog Action Day 2010 and change.org.

July was a big month for ocean policy and global attention on polluted oceans.

On July 19 President Obama signed an Executive Order establishing a National Policy for the Stewardship of the Ocean, Coasts, and Great Lakes. His order adopted the 96-page Final Recommendations of the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force and directs Federal agencies to take the appropriate steps to implement them.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by William DiBenedetto

15 October, 2010 at 2:00 am

Seattle Getting Real on Eco-Industrial Districts?

leave a comment »

The “eco-industrial district” concept in Seattle is moving, slowly, but moving from concept to sustainable reality.

The Metropolitan King County Council recently adopted a proposal that calls for a partnership with the City of Seattle to create Eco-Industrial Districts in the city and throughout the county.

If this merger of green and industrial development manages to take off in a real way, it will assist in the cleanup and development in some of Seattle’s grittiest industrial core areas, such as the SoDo district or in the Duwamish River corridor in south Seattle by coordinating various public sector initiatives on sustainable communities.

Read the rest of this entry »

%d bloggers like this: